Plant Zn uptake from low Zn soils can be increased by Zn-mobilizing chemical rhizosphere processes. We studied whether inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can be an additional or an alternative strategy. We determined the effect of AMF inoculation on growth performance and Zn uptake by rice genotypes varying in Zn uptake when nonmycorrhizal. A pot experiment was conducted with six aerobic rice genotypes inoculated with Glomus mosseae or G. etunicatum or without AMF on a low Zn soil. Plant growth, Zn uptake and mycorrhizal responsiveness were determined. AMF-inoculated plants produced more biomass and took up more Zn than nonmycorrhizal controls. Mycorrhizal inoculation, however, significantly increased Zn uptake only in genotypes that had a low Zn uptake in the nonmycorrhizal condition. We conclude that genotypes that are less efficient in Zn uptake when nonmycorrhizal are more responsive to AMF inoculation. We provide examples from literature allowing generalization of this conclusion on a trade off between mycorrhizal responsiveness and nutrient uptake efficiency.